Sox Extend Barnes; 2 years, $18.75 M

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
29,627
Here
I…do not understand why he’d sign this. I suppose the lives of relievers are fickle and strike while the iron is hot, but seems like a great deal for Chaim!

I almost suspect he knows he’s hurt or something.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
If Barnes can maintain this year's success that's a great deal and eliminates the need to either bid against other teams for a closer or beat the bushes to find someone who might workout. Finger's cross that he stays healthy and keeps performing at his current level.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
I…do not understand why he’d sign this. I suppose the lives of relievers are fickle and strike while the iron is hot, but seems like a great deal for Chaim!

I almost suspect he knows he’s hurt or something.
Doubled his yearly salary, New England guy, drafted by the Sox...It's probably where he want's to be with a nice raise to continue doing what he's doing.
 

Papo The Snow Tiger

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 18, 2010
962
Connecticut
I…do not understand why he’d sign this. I suppose the lives of relievers are fickle and strike while the iron is hot, but seems like a great deal for Chaim!

I almost suspect he knows he’s hurt or something.
I can't find a link to verify it, but I remember reading that Pedro Martinez once advised Papi to not sign where he could get the most money, but to sign where he'd be the happiest. I'm probably being naive, but I'd like to think that maybe Matt Barnes just really likes being a Red Sox and likes Boston. In any case I'm really glad one of the 2018 Red Sox is staying around for a while.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
19,353
Rogers Park
I…do not understand why he’d sign this. I suppose the lives of relievers are fickle and strike while the iron is hot, but seems like a great deal for Chaim!

I almost suspect he knows he’s hurt or something.
I don't think the money is *that* low. I get that Liam Hendriks just signed a 3/$54, but Blake Treinen's 2/$17.5m deal with LAD is a decent comp, also, in terms of age, success, and role.

It's great to keep our homegrown players when we can, and now this deal aligns the team's and Barnes' incentives for a stretch run when we might need to lean on him pretty heavily.

(i.e., to clarify: I like the deal ethically. If, during a postseason where we're going to be leaning hard on our bullpen, we're going to ask him to shoulder a Foulke-like workload, that carries risks, and I would want him well-compensated for those risks.)
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
43,576
There’s an alternate universe where the team isn’t very good this season, Barnes gets moved at the deadline, then has to move again this winter to a 3rd team. The stability is likely worth a decent amount to him. Local guy, etc.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
19,353
Rogers Park
Reading the tweets, Speier clarified that the escalators are based on games finished. So if he remains the closer, he's probably been pretty great, and he'll get his 2024 option picked up at $10.25m. If he's faltered, and lost the closer's duties, but is still a useful pitcher, it will likely get picked up at $8m. And if he falls apart — always a possibility for a pitcher — he gets bought out of that 2024 option for $2.25m.

This seems like they agreed to basically repeat the Treinen deal, which is structured very similarly and for a comparable amount of money.
 

Ale Xander

killed off Vin Scully
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
43,714
That’s seems way too much risk for a relief pitcher with a career walk rate approaching 4/9
 

Yelling At Clouds

Post-darwinian
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,145
I can’t really blame any player for not wanting to deal with free agency after the last few years, plus now there’s the added uncertainty of a new CBA.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
19,353
Rogers Park
That’s seems way too much risk for a relief pitcher with a career walk rate approaching 4/9
I know you said career, but some notable BB/9 rates, 2021.

Darwinzon Hernandez 7.14
Aroldis Chapman 6.67
Kenley Jansen 5.60
Gregory Soto 5.30
James Karinchek 5.03
Adam Ottavino 5.00
Jordan Romano 4.83
Hirokazu Sawamura 4.46
Lou Trivino 4.19
Josh Taylor 3.86
Mark Melancon 3.72
Edwin Diaz 3.38
AJ Minter 3.34
Tejay Antone 3.21
Josh Hader 3.03
Will Smith 2.95
Craig Kimbrel 2.84
Blake Treinen 2.52
Matt Barnes 2.43
Anthony Bender 2.22
Jonathan Loaisiga 1.91
Ryan Pressley 1.18
Liam Hendriks 0.94
 

mauf

Anderson Cooper × Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
I don't think the money is *that* low. I get that Liam Hendriks just signed a 3/$54, but Blake Treinen's 2/$17.5m deal with LAD is a decent comp, also, in terms of age, success, and role.
Treinian was a year older when he signed and was coming off two subpar seasons. If CB convinced Barnes’s agent that Treinian was a relevant parallel he’s a helluva negotiator.

Totally agree that Hendricks isn’t a relevant comp. I was thinking more along the lines of Kimbrel’s current deal (3/42), or maybe Will Smith (3/40). Barnes doesn’t have the rep those guys do and therefore wouldn’t have gotten $40M on the market this winter, but I think $30-35M for 3 guaranteed years was well within reach, even assuming some regression in his second-half numbers.
 

Minneapolis Millers

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
3,223
Twin Cities
This is a nice deal for both. If Barnes finishes the year pitching as he has, he’d have got another year and more per year from someone. So the team’s getting a discount doing it now while taking on minimal risk, and Barnes is still getting significant financial security. A big market team like Boston can easily afford $8-10M/yr for a late inning reliever they know and trust.

And for a comp: Joe Kelly got 3/$25M 2.5 years ago coming off one good month!

Edit: So I’m on board with this. Good move.
 
Last edited:

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
19,353
Rogers Park
Treinian was a year older when he signed and was coming off two subpar seasons. If CB convinced Barnes’s agent that Treinian was a relevant parallel he’s a helluva negotiator.

Totally agree that Hendricks isn’t a relevant comp. I was thinking more along the lines of Kimbrel’s current deal (3/42), or maybe Will Smith (3/40). Barnes doesn’t have the rep those guys do and therefore wouldn’t have gotten $40M on the market this winter, but I think $30-35M for 3 guaranteed years was well within reach, even assuming some regression in his second-half numbers.
Yes, but Treinen's year before those subpar years was way better than anything Barnes has done, and I like Barnes a lot: 80 IP with a 531 ERA+.

He got multiple MVP votes.
 

RG33

Potty Mouth
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Nov 28, 2005
5,224
CA
I love this. I was at the game with my daughters today and before I saw the news said to my oldest “this might be the last time you see him pitch for the Sox” when he came into the game. My buddy/colleague who was his catcher at UConn had texted me the news earlier but I had missed it. He has often talked how much Barnes loves Boston and pitching at Fenway. Great signing for everyone, glad the Sox locked him up!
 

riboflav

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 20, 2006
8,257
NOVA
I have a lot of respect for this point of view, even more so if the money works for him and his family. I hope both sides are happy and it works out well for everyone.
This is a refreshing take for SoSH. SoSH's general refrain of players should take the most money, it's just a business decision, etc. gets tiring. Unless you're broke or poor (which Barnes is probably neither) there can be more to life than money. Happy for Matt.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
15,449
Maine
This is a refreshing take for SoSH. SoSH's general refrain of players should take the most money, it's just a business decision, etc. gets tiring. Unless you're broke or poor (which Barnes is probably neither) there can be more to life than money. Happy for Matt.
It is a refreshing take and one I wholeheartedly agree with, but I think the prevailing notion around here isn't the players should get the most money they can so much as we can't begrudge them chasing the most money they can get. Too many fans want every single player to have Barnes' point of view despite it being very much the exception to the norm. He should be celebrated for it. Players who chase big free agent dollars shouldn't be castigated for doing so.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
It is a refreshing take and one I wholeheartedly agree with, but I think the prevailing notion around here isn't the players should get the most money they can so much as we can't begrudge them chasing the most money they can get. Too many fans want every single player to have Barnes' point of view despite it being very much the exception to the norm. He should be celebrated for it. Players who chase big free agent dollars shouldn't be castigated for doing so.
Well stated.
 

Niastri

Member
SoSH Member
Kimbrel as the "day off" closer?

Barnes was a set up man for Kimbrel back in the day, I imagine bringing him back would hurt chemistry, with a whole lot of uncertainty inserted where there isn't any currently. Is Buster's tweet just click bait?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
15,449
Maine
I can see where Olney is going with that, and I imagine Barnes is the type to not get worked up about his exact role as long as he's clearly a trusted part of the team. But at the same time, it sends a weird message that after he is finally elevated to the high profile role and he succeeds with it, you hand him a generous but under-market extension then go out and immediately get a guy to push him out of that role.

I wouldn't complain if the Sox got Kimbrel back for the rest of this season. It would be kinda fascinating to watch how Cora deployed the two of them. Does Barnes get "demoted", do they split the closing opportunities, or do they go back to a true "committee" fashion without a designated closer and just play matchups?
 

bosockboy

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
15,560
St. Louis, MO
I can see where Olney is going with that, and I imagine Barnes is the type to not get worked up about his exact role as long as he's clearly a trusted part of the team. But at the same time, it sends a weird message that after he is finally elevated to the high profile role and he succeeds with it, you hand him a generous but under-market extension then go out and immediately get a guy to push him out of that role.

I wouldn't complain if the Sox got Kimbrel back for the rest of this season. It would be kinda fascinating to watch how Cora deployed the two of them. Does Barnes get "demoted", do they split the closing opportunities, or do they go back to a true "committee" fashion without a designated closer and just play matchups?
Kimbrel would be great as the relief specialist, non-inning specific. Just based on matchups and situation and trim and extra inning off the game.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
14,838
Kimbrel would be great as the relief specialist, non-inning specific. Just based on matchups and situation and trim and extra inning off the game.
I don’t have the actual numbers handy but from recollection, Kimbrel struggled more in non-save situations than when he was trying to close out a game. So maybe he wouldn’t be so great at that.

Would still be better than Andriese though.
 

E5 Yaz

Transcends message boarding
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2002
73,291
Oregon
If they're going to make one key acquisition before the deadline — and Bloom doesn't seem the type to part with multiple prospects — I'd rather they get a bat to extend the lineup than to double-down in an area that's been a strength thus far.
 

bosockboy

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
15,560
St. Louis, MO
If they're going to make one key acquisition before the deadline — and Bloom doesn't seem the type to part with multiple prospects — I'd rather they get a bat to extend the lineup than to double-down in an area that's been a strength thus far.
Agree. 1B is absolutely the priority.
 

BornToRun

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 4, 2011
15,251
Nobody wants Craig to come back more than me and even I question the wisdom of moving Matt off of the closer’s role after he’s been so great and we just locked him up. If it does somehow happen, I’ll be thrilled but I would hope that there would be discussions had beforehand with Barnes in order to make sure everyone is on the same page.
 

Mugsy's Jock

Eli apologist
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 28, 2000
13,486
UWS, NYC
Wasn't watching -- was he really booed off the mound last night?

If so, that bums me out. Barnes has always been a good soldier. I'm disappointed he's pitching so poorly, but I think it's pretty clearly the consequence of his being worked way beyond all prior experience this season.

I'm no softy -- I never gave into the Buckner forgiveness (probably shame on me) or the Clemens reclamation (definitely shame on him). And I wouldn't want to hold myself accountable for what I might say to Tony Graffanino or Ian Kinsler for their post-season errors. But it's easier for me to see that Barnes is just paying the price for so many high-leverage innings where he did deliver.

Funny, nobody ever forgave Mike Torrez. On reflection... is that fair?
 

pokey_reese

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jun 25, 2008
15,479
Eugene, OR
Wasn't watching -- was he really booed off the mound last night?

If so, that bums me out. Barnes has always been a good soldier. I'm disappointed he's pitching so poorly, but I think it's pretty clearly the consequence of his being worked way beyond all prior experience this season.

I'm no softy -- I never gave into the Buckner forgiveness (probably shame on me) or the Clemens reclamation (definitely shame on him). And I wouldn't want to hold myself accountable for what I might say to Tony Graffanino or Ian Kinsler for their post-season errors. But it's easier for me to see that Barnes is just paying the price for so many high-leverage innings where he did deliver.

Funny, nobody ever forgave Mike Torrez. On reflection... is that fair?
Is that true, though? Prior to last year's shortened season, he had four straight years of 60-70 IP, and only about 10 more innings over the course of this year will likely be high leverage vs medium leverage, it's not like he was just a mop-up/white flag guy in the past, he has generally been a pretty important bullpen piece even if not the closer. He has terrible August numbers for his career, not just this year, but better Sep/Oct numbers, so hopefully this is just part of some pattern of focus or dead arm that will continue to hold true, and vanish when the calendar rolls over. I'm just not sure that his workload this year versus previous years is the culprit.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
19,353
Rogers Park
Per baseballsavant, Barnes' average spin rate on his four seamer is down this month. (His velocity is steady.)

43737

I still think that some missed locations middle-middle is more the issue — not to mention some shoddy IF defense — than his spin rate going from good to merely average, but I'm just putting that out there.

He needs to get the fastball above hitters' bat paths. If he doesn't, he's just throwing good fastballs down the middle. But maybe the declining spin (for whatever reason — sweaty hands in the August humidity?) is contributing to his inability to do that.
 

A Bad Man

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2016
627
Per baseballsavant, Barnes' average spin rate on his four seamer is down this month. (His velocity is steady.)

View attachment 43737

I still think that some missed locations middle-middle is more the issue — not to mention some shoddy IF defense — than his spin rate going from good to merely average, but I'm just putting that out there.

He needs to get the fastball above hitters' bat paths. If he doesn't, he's just throwing good fastballs down the middle. But maybe the declining spin (for whatever reason — sweaty hands in the August humidity?) is contributing to his inability to do that.
My guess is Barnes was using some gunk. Marked dropoff after the rule changes; he's seen spin generally increase by month in years previous.

43742
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
19,353
Rogers Park
I think you're probably right about the gunk — Barnes lost ~150 RPM, which is in line with the general results of the rosin and sunscreen crowd — but it doesn't really line up with our chronology.

For that to be a satisfying explanation for his struggles, we need to somehow account for the ~15 IP of 1.15 ERA baseball he pitched, with a 17/4 K/BB ratio, between the late June substance enforcement change and his recent skid. He arguably improved for several weeks after June 21st.
 

A Bad Man

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2016
627
I think you're probably right about the gunk — Barnes lost ~150 RPM, which is in line with the general results of the rosin and sunscreen crowd — but it doesn't really line up with our chronology.

For that to be a satisfying explanation for his struggles, we need to somehow account for the ~15 IP of 1.15 ERA baseball he pitched, with a 17/4 K/BB ratio, between the late June substance enforcement change and his recent skid. He arguably improved for several weeks after June 21st.
That's tough to say; my initial guess is that hitters hadn't figured out how to exploit the diminished spin yet. I don't think spin can account for all of Barnes's woes, but I imagine it has exacerbated them. Perhaps it is as simple as the hitters have figured out Diminished Spin Barnes, and DSB hasn't figured out how to adjust.

Of course, we can't ignore the deal he signed and the scrutiny of the ninth inning spotlight. A confluence of DSB, psyche, and bad luck seems a plausible explanation.
 

A Bad Man

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2016
627
That's tough to say; my initial guess is that hitters hadn't figured out how to exploit the diminished spin yet. I don't think spin can account for all of Barnes's woes, but I imagine it has exacerbated them. Perhaps it is as simple as the hitters have figured out Diminished Spin Barnes, and DSB hasn't figured out how to adjust.

Of course, we can't ignore the deal he signed and the scrutiny of the ninth inning spotlight. A confluence of DSB, psyche, and bad luck seems a plausible explanation.
Interestingly, Barnes's 15-Game xFIP- shows the effect of the rule change pretty dramatically; game 30 is 6/22, one day after the change:43747
 

A Bad Man

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2016
627
Ooh! Good find. That is interesting. So do we think he was just lucky results-wise for 10 appearances or so and then everything went off the rails?
My reading of the xFIP- is that it picks up on the K/BB changes; the two are more or less inversely proportional. I throw in FIP- to show the difference from xFIP-.

43770
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
15,887
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Ooh! Good find. That is interesting. So do we think he was just lucky results-wise for 10 appearances or so and then everything went off the rails?
He's only been truly crappy (in terms of outcomes) this month. Bad games only:

Aug 7 - Loss HR.
HR - FB, centerish. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sporty-videos?playId=d530cb18-6556-4519-8056-26bb95bef512

Aug 8 - Loss BB, HR.
HR - FB, center low. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sporty-videos?playId=70c4fa8b-205b-40d7-9eb3-fa79078c771d

Aug 10 - Loss 2B, K, BB, K, BB, 1B.
2B - FB, center out of zone high. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sporty-videos?playId=b1538502-341c-455c-bcf2-a3ac8612f429
1B - KC, center high. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sporty-videos?playId=eaa29c4f-3b98-46bb-b7c4-329172aeedbf

Aug 23 - BS 1B, 1B, K, 1B. But many fielding gaffes.
1B - KC, center low. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sporty-videos?playId=345ce25b-fdc2-454f-b640-963f86d9ca07
1B - FB, low, away - good pitch. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sporty-videos?playId=aa9c6262-2285-45c2-acc0-c1d864e621b1
1B - KC, middle away. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sporty-videos?playId=58729d5a-7287-40c7-9609-cbb8a4a332cd

Prior to that we have to go back to July 2: BS, team wins.
HR - FB, center low. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sporty-videos?playId=6a47c44a-f223-40b5-9dcc-92d1e2ee913d

I think Vaz called all those and I didn't see much glove movement.
 

soxhop411

news aggravator
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2009
40,399
This may be why Barnes has struggled as of late
The first four to five months, I mean, I knew I could go out there and put 98 wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted with a breaking ball,” said Barnes. “And then I go through a stretch where I’m throwing a ton of games in a really short span, kind of lose it, try to find a way to create more — which is never the right answer, but it just, it’s hard not to do that.

“So then we start trying to figure out, ‘OK, how do I get back?’ As soon as we’re getting close, I get COVID,” said Barnes, who suffered a breakthrough positive infection at the end of August. “I have COVID for three weeks and wasn’t completely corrected [on the mound]. So now when I come back, it doesn’t just come back. I’m still working. And then all of a sudden I cut part of my thumb off.”

Come again?

In late September, Barnes was chopping a pepper while making an omelet when he sliced off the tip of his left thumb. He’s wearing a bandage on the digit, with a hard plastic casing inside his glove so he can catch the ball without pain.

“The last six weeks, I feel like everything just has been crazy,” said Barnes. “The first four months, five months, everything was perfect. The last six weeks anything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong. It’s just been a crazy year. It really has.”
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/10/16/sports/red-sox-reliever-matt-barnes-anything-that-could-go-wrong-did-go-wrong-last-six-weeks/
Matt Barnes recently sliced off the tip of his left thumb while chopping a pepper.